THOUGH DUBAI SEEMS to be thriving with svelte-figured (and sometimes borderline anorexic) female models, ever so often, a lack of male eye-candy on the ramp becomes evident.

By Davina Raisinghani

Published: Sun 26 Apr 2009, 9:36 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 8:10 AM

But German-based, former male model, Patrick Urban and Mister Intercontinental 1999, is here to provide relief to the female population.

Armed with a delectable charm, quick quips and an infectious laugh, he promptly dispels the stuck-up illusion that might be associated with the hunky men on the runway.

He’s in the city as a representative from the World Beauty Organization (WBO) to assist in answering a persistent question: is the Top Model of the World beauty pageant going to take place right here on home ground?

Earlier this month, City Times reported the possibility. The organisers are definitely interested and they’ve even gone as far as bringing down the well-endowed Daniela Arkenberg, the current title holder of the German Top Model of the World, to the city. This time round, Urban accompanies her for her second visit. He’s also here to finalise the decision.

But first, before divulging more updates on the current status of the decision, we probe into the well-built man’s proverbial closet: “I started modeling when I was 16, and I don’t really want to tell you how old I am now. But, it might have been almost 20 years ago,” he adds in a stage-whisper voice.

Now, post stints on stage as a contestant and back stage as a choreographer, the model has joined forces with the WBO as an organiser. He’s also created a career in acting for himself through German TV.

“Most of my time is spent between work and travelling for work. You’ll have to ask my secretary how I manage it. We change hotels so often that every once in a while I will lose track of where we are and wake up wondering where it is I am. I have to concentrate on where I am and how to behave,” grins Urban with a mischevious glint in his eye. “It is hard to find privacy, but I absolutely love my work. I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

Reverting back to the subject at hand, Urban explains that if necessary he will be in charge of altering the contest rounds to suit cultural sensibilities. Namely, the swimsuit round will be bumped for something akin to a national costume round instead. The pageant has been held in Egypt, China and India, where due respect and consideration has been given to the cultural mindset.

“I’ve been working with the WBO for ten years now and I’ve seen some very interesting spots all over the world through them. It was my wish to come here because I’ve heard so many things about the region, this city and its people. It’s all very cosmopolitan, which is why I thought to myself: the most beautiful women from all over the world should collect here,” enthuses Urban on why the UAE would make for the perfect venue for the competition.

The fifteen year old pageant, which has been held in prominent cities around the globe, proposes the shipping in of 70 stunning female contenders from 70 countries for a period of 14 days. With media from all over the world present, international telecast is a guarantee.

So what’s the holdup? “It’s really a question of sponsors now,” notes Urban. Alexander Pohle, the CEO of DPRE Holdings and the German Business Bureau adds that a conclusive decision will be delivered by the end of May, leaving plenty of time to prepare for the contest that will take place months later in either November or December.

Meanwhile Arkenberg is busy preparing herself for the upcoming competition. “I’m working a lot on improving my walk on the ramp. We’ve also been shooting a lot in Germany to prepare my model portfolio. I’d also like to work a bit on my English,” she adds.

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